1/4 } Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

{ Chapter 1 – Excerpt #4 }

“The Porsche 911 Accident” { Division Rd Bridge, Kingston, ON • October 21, 1995 }

Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

{ continued… }

“Crazy was being in a car doing eight 360 degree turns at mock 112 km/hr and hydroplaning into a hydropole. Now that, that’s crazy!

“Seriously? You’ve got to be kidding me.” I was already holding all the muscles in my body tight, unable to relax, thinking that this would somehow control the car and keep it from spinning off again. And now the first snowfall. On the 401. Nice. The night of the accident it had rained hard all night. Snow was worse in my opinion. I couldn’t blame Alex for the snow, but it didn’t make me any more comfortable. God, and now it was getting colder. There was a blanket in the car and I covered my shoes with. It didn’t help. Cold feet. Cold interior and now cold air blowing in. It was a losing battle. One of my biggest pet peeves is cold feet. I was miserable. I grinned and bared it until we got back to my place in Kingston.

We got in and it felt weird being back in Kingston since the accident. I  didn’t sleep well. I was having nightmares. horrible nightmares. In fact, I had never had them this bad. They would jolt me out of my bed in the night gasping for air or breath and I’d want to scream. It felt like the wind was being knocked out of me and I couldn’t breathe. Sometimes they didn’t make any sense and sometimes I was in car and waking as the car was spinning out of control. I was really truly very scared each time I woke up. I wanted to be consoled. They were so loud and felt so real. Alex shook them off like they were nothing.“Normal” he said. I also remember going to walk down the stairs and the stairs took on a mushroom-like induced cartoon quality floating beneath my feet. I would go and put my foot down and the stairs would seem to move. I would find out later that this was Vertigo from the accident. If you’ve ever had you know it makes you want to hurl. I also found it incredibly unsettling as I though I was going crazy. No. No I wasn’t. Crazy was being in a car doing eight 360 degree turns at mock 112 km/hr and hydro planing into a hydropole. Now that, that’s crazy! Especially, especially if you were trying so hard to stop the car and stay alive instead of let go and pretend your on a merry-go-round. No such luck.

This wasn’t reassuring. The following day Alex asked me if he could leave the car in my driveway for a while. I said ok, but asked why. He said he didn’t have a place to store it back home. “What about you parents place?” I said. “They have plenty of driveway and a garage space.” Alex had always worked on cars and boats. He built his first small sailboat  when he was 15 years old so it was something they were accustomed too.

“I just don’t want to bring it back quite yet.” he quipped.

“Alright” I said. It was the least I could do given the circumstances. Then he asked me if he could stay with me for a while. We had never lived together and this was just the start of my second year into my degree. “Well, I’m not sure Alex. I need to consult with my 3 roommates first. For how long?” Just a week or  two he told me. I told him it would be ok for a bit. I found this all passing strange. Alex stayed. In the coming week, he explained that the Porsche he had rebuilt he wanted to flip and sell. This plan had obviously gone down the tubes. He had no money. I asked him how he got the other Porsche all of a sudden. I don’t remember the answer, but I do remember it was rather scant in details. I felt bad that he had lost the money he put into the car all to have it wrecked in a couple minutes. This was his source of income for now. It’s how he made a living.  And then he asked me something else. One more thing. Could I lend him some money to buy another Porsche so he could flip it and generate some income. You can’t write this stuff any better can you?

“Let me get this straight you want me to lend you my non-existent money – aka – student loan – that I need to survive on so you can buy another Porsche?” I was working at the Queen’s University Alumni Department part-time. This was my spending money. “Alex, if I do this, you know I need the money back right away. Well, I mean, you are gong to have to pay me back when I need it so I can pay my rent and bills, buy groceries etc. This is money I need to live off of.”

“Not a problem. As soon as I sell it, I can give you the money right back.” he said.

I lent him the money. It was a loan afterall. And he said he would pay me back. I trusted him. The rest of the week Alex had to take care of a couple matters regarding the accident.  He had to go down to the Kingston City hall. He asked if I could come with him and drive him back if he needed. “What do you mean?”

“I may need you to drive me out of the parking lot and back here after.”

“I don’t understand Alex.”

“Just come with me, I’m going now. Can you drive a Porsche?”

“Can I drive a Porsche? I have no idea if I can drive a Porsche. I’ve never driven one before. How would I know. It’s car isn’t it? I can drive stick.” My father had insisted on teaching my twin and I standard when we took our driving lessons. I grumbled under my mouth at the time, but I am and will be forever thankful he insisted we know how to drive standard whether we think we needed it or not. I love driving stick –  fast, with the music blaring. It drives me nuts to drive an automatic car. There’s no pick-up you know?  Aside from my parents teaching me to drive the car, it was also Alex in my late teens who spent hours in the Toy’R’Us parking lot and the back roads of Manotick teaching me to drive standard. I think I have a pretty smooth transition. “You know I know how to drive stick Alex.”

He smirked and gave me this – oh you’re so innocent you have no idea kind of look. “This isn’t a normal stick Kate.” “It’s a Porsche 911 Targa.”

“Yahh, yah, yah I know – whatever. Pretty car. Every guys dream car. I know. Why is it different to drive this standard car?”

He smirked again. “You’ll see. Can you do it or not?”

“You’re not really giving me any choice on the way there are you now?” I asked him if he wanted me to join him inside the courthouse for moral support. He said no, to stay outside. ‘What are you going in there for anyways Alex?”

“I gotta go. Just stay in the car.”

Great. Trapped in now my favorite car. How lovely. He was in there for about 40 minutes. I was thinking to myself this is ridiculous, I’m going in. I headed inside and saw him standing in the wooden pews in the courtroom. It was intimidating. The constable recognized me and seem to give a consoling look wondering if I was ok. She came to me and asked if I needed anything.  It felt like the look on her face seemed to suggest, why was I with this guy? She said something like, “You were in a really serious car accident Katherine. You know one of the constables remarked after seeing the way your car seemed to be projectiled into the hydro-pole it he had a pilot’s licence to drive that thing.”  Alex turned and came down the aisle and saw me. The constable  handed me her card. At first he seemed irked, but then he gave his normal sheepish smile. He said “let’s go. He seemed to be in a rush and looking everywhere around him paranoid. He was angry. He told me, “ok you do have to drive.”

I got into the driver’s side of the Porsche. The seat dropped way back and it was hard to reach the peddles. I started the car. The car stuttered and stalled. “Oh” I said, “this is a bit harder.”

“Try again,” he said. “You’re going to have to push all the way down on the clutch and just enough on the gas. It’s going to want to go quick, so don’t be scared about the big jump, just ease of slow”

I tried again. The car sputtered and stalled.
“The engine is so loud.”“Why is it so loud Alex?”

Alex was angry. “Just go again. No, actually let me drive get out and I’ll drive.”

“I thought you couldn’t drive out of here?”

“Ugh, I can’t. Fine, just go.” I tried it one more time. Zoom! Third times always a charm for me. God, its got pick-up! God it seemed to jump from 0km/hr to 40km/hr instantly. I can see why a strong majority of guys want to drive this car. It scared me. I thought it might jump to far forward and hit a tree or something! I kept easing on and off the gas to slow us down and we were inevitably jumping forward and backward like a first timer trying to learn stick. Heck, I didn’t even drive this unstable when I was learning stick!

“Turn the corner Kate and stop the car. I’m going to drive the rest of the way.”

“I thought you…”

Alex interrupted me. “Just get us out of the lot. I can’t let anyone see me drive off of the lot!” he yelled.

I was confused. I didn’t say anything on the short 5 minute ride home.

Alex stayed for a couple weeks. He said he had found a Porsche here in Kingston to buy and flip and he would need my money. I went with him to see this car I was buying. This Porsche. It was red. A little more modern 80’s Porsche. The grill sat real low that it was practically sitting on the road. Actually it was kind of tacky if you ask me. Alex said he would be able to flip it easily though. I bought the car. For a few days, I was the owner of a shiny red Porsche…that I never drove once.

{ to be continued… }

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Aways to go yet!

By Kate Flood
• 11:15pm • First “Write-In” at “Cafe Oh So Good”, Ottawa, ON
State of Being: Looking forward to more words. Listening to “Boards of Canada – Telephasic workshop.”


2 thoughts on “1/4 } Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

  1. R Ross says:

    Silly girl … Your woman’s intuition should have been going off like gangbusters that this douchebag was taking you for a different kind if ride. Love blinds when you’re young…

    • Kate Flood says:

      Yes, except, if a person has never given you another reason to suspect that, then you think you’re in safe, responsible hands. Obviously he didn’t intend on the accident, but he made irresponsible choices afterwards instead of doing the respectful thing. Also, I have learned that often we see what is in our mirror. I am an incredibly honest and trustworthy person. I see that quality in others – expecting it blindly. So it’s hard to see otherwise, because I don’t believe people are inherently the opposite in their truest of hearts you know?

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